Last season, Manchester United were heavily reliant on Michael Carrick in that holding midfield position. Louis Van Gaal and Ed Woodward, having realised the need to strengthen the position, have not just signed one quality player capable of helping out Carrick, but two – one a Frenchman, who has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League in the last few seasons, and the other a German, who has won everything there is to win in the sport.
The signings of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger should fill the United fans with joy; because it is not just filling up a problem position that the club have done, they have filled it with absolute quality.
But then, what does this mean really for the Manchester United team for the new season? How will Louis Van Gaal shape his team? Will Carrick still be first choice, or will Schweinsteiger usurp the England midfielder?
What does that mean for Schneiderlin? Will Schneiderlin and Carrick/Schweinsteiger play in the same XI, with the Frenchman donning the box-to-box role?
What of Daley Blind and Ander Herrera? Will it be a problem of too many again, and does that mean Blind will now be first-choice at left-back? Will Marouane Fellaini keep his place in the side? Because with Schweinsteiger, Carrick and Schneiderlin, the style of play should be along the carpet?
So many questions have come up from the signings. You initially felt, it was going to be one central/holding midfielder that Manchester United will buy. So that would have meant one of Schneiderlin or Schweinsteiger.
However, Manchester United have spent around £40 million (more, if you include the add-ons for Schneiderlin) for the two midfielders, leaving Van Gaal with a problem of plenty in the position.
Last season, Van Gaal kept complaining about not being able to find the balance in the team when Carrick was out injured. Blind and Herrera have shown they are much better players in positions that do not involve the holding role.
So, come the new season, Van Gaal should not have any complaints. The Dutchman has three midfielders who can play the deep role in the Manchester united midfield now.
It looks like, initially, on the face of it, at least, that one of Schweinsteiger and Carrick will play as the holding midfielder, with Schneiderlin probably taking on the more box-to-box role.
At Southampton, Schneiderlin had some of his best games when he had Victor Wanyama for company, and with the class of the holding midfielder increasing by quite a margin via Carrick or Schweinsteiger, the Frenchman's game should go up a notch.
If Schneiderlin plays the holding, I-am-the-general midfield role, though, then the likelihood is Schweinsteiger getting the nod ahead of Carrick as the German is more accomplished further up the pitch than the Englishman.
Van Gaal might even look at playing both Carrick and Schweinsteiger in the same XI, with the latter playing the more advance role. But, with both players crossing 30 – Schweinsteiger will be 31 in August, while Carrick will be 34 in a couple of weeks – it does look like only one of the two will be on the pitch from the start, with a much younger Schneiderlin providing that extra bit and the looking-up quality in central midfield.
The midfield puzzle will become much clearer over the next couple of weeks as Manchester United play in the International Champions Cup in the US.
One thing is certain, though – Van Gaal cannot make excuses of not getting his systems right this time. He will have plenty of time to work with his new signings and find out what formation or system best suits this Manchester United team.